ARE CONVERSATION CLASSES REALLY EFFECTIVE?
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Teaching English as a Foreign Language involves many different aspects: teaching vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, listening and speaking. For most of us, we have lessons dedicated to each of these elements and then lessons which provide a combination of all of these.
One popular example of this is conversation classes. These are lessons in which students spend the time discussing a specific topic with their classmates and the teacher. These lessons are usually very popular with students – because they are basically having a conversation with their friends!
And while conversation classes can be a lot of fun, the big question remains: are they really effective in teaching the language?
Well, the truth is they can go either way.
Conversation classes which are simply opportunities for students to talk to each other without any or much involvement or input from the teacher are useful in building confidence and practising effective communication techniques, but that’s probably about it. This is useful for consolidation work and for building fluency, but if unstructured might not achieve the aims you hoped for.
In order for such a class to be useful, there needs to be input, clarification and error correction. In other words, the class needs to incorporate vocabulary building or grammar practice in some way. Make sure you have a list of vocabulary items related to the topic which will be new to the students, so that there can be some form of vocabulary building. Present these items at the beginning of the lesson or introduce them during the lesson so that the students can practise using them in their conversations. At the same time you could brainstorm language already familiar with the students so that there is an element of revision as well.
Then, the teacher needs to be available to help with communication. While the students should have free reign to say what they want to say, the teacher should be around should they need help in formulating the content of their ideas or opinions. This needs to be done quietly and discreetly – the students must know you are happy to answer questions but you should try not interrupt the flow of the conversation too much.
Finally, the students need to know that their language use is correct. The teacher should make use of error correction techniques during the conversation, as well as take some time to focus on general errors at the end of the lesson. Though you may feel this is intimidating or invasive, you will find that students enjoy error correction because it provides them the opportunity to notice their progress.
If these elements are not present, the lesson would simply replicate any conversation your students have outside the classroom with other learners. On the other hand, if a conversation lesson is well-planned and prepared and the lesson is scaffolded throughout, there is no reason why a conversation lesson shouldn’t be an enjoyable, productive lesson.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.